Pastis the pig lives high on the hog in Belgian retirement home

CHIEVRES, Belgium, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Pastis the pot-bellied pig likes nothing better than snuggling down for the night with the ponies at his retirement home, but also enjoys playing with the elderly cats.

The 10-year-old, 200-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is one of 150 aging animals, including dogs, goats, horses and sheep, living out their final days in peace at "Les Petits Vieux" ("The Little Old Ones") in rural southern Belgium.

All the animals either have health problems or have been abandoned because their owners were too old to care for them.

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'Les Petits Vieux' -- An animal retirement home in Belgium
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'Les Petits Vieux' -- An animal retirement home in Belgium
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for elderly animals, sits among some of the hundreds of pets, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Cats and goats live together at the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Calin, a European cat, is seen at the association "Les Petits Vieux", home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Caracol, a ten-years old Spanish Galgo, rests on a sofa at the association "Les Petits Vieux", home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, caresses Pastis, a 10-year-old Vietnamese pig, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Calin, a European cat, is seen at the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, caresses Pastis, a 10-year-old Vietnamese pig, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, looks at Pastis, a 10-year-old Vietnamese pig, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, sits next to Chasse, a goat, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, caresses Pastis, a 10-year-old Vietnamese pig, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for elderly animals, sits among some of the hundreds of pets, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, caresses Calin, a European cat, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for elderly animals, stands among some of the hundreds of pets, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
A dog is seen at the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Dogs are seen at the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, stands next to Yam, a 9-year-old Saint Bernard, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Azuria, a 15-year-old european cat, waits in a building at the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for elderly animals, sits among some of the hundreds of pets, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Azuria, a 15-year-old european cat, waits in a building at the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats, in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Victor, a 15-year-old Galgo Hound, sits on a sofa next to Belgian Valerie Luycx, a founder of the association "Les Petits Vieux" acting as home for dozens of elderly animals, including dogs, cats, pigs and goats in Chievres, Belgium August 7, 2018. Picture taken August 7, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
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They are never in cages and are free to play with each other, indoors and out, although many choose to merely lounge quietly on the sofas.

"We wanted to recreate family life for the animals," said Valerie Luycx, who founded the shelter in 2000 with her husband Serge and knows all the animals by name.

(Reporting by Yves Herman, writing by Julia Echikson; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Robin Pomeroy)

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